Mata hoping to hand Man Utd fitness boost after being forced to watch 'magical' nights from afar

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The Spanish midfielder is currently nursing a hamstring complaint but is confident he will "soon" come back into contention for the Red Devils

Juan Mata is hoping to hand Manchester United a fitness boost “soon”, with the Spaniard missing out on “magical” nights while nursing a hamstring injury.

The World Cup winner suffered an untimely knock during an eventful Premier League meeting with Liverpool on February 24.

That contest also saw Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard forced from the field, while Marcus Rashford had to manage his way through an issue of his own.

Mata has been forced to sit out United’s last four games across all competitions as a result of his ailment, but the 30-year-old claims he is making positive progress in his recovery.

A man who continues to head towards free agency while stuck on the sidelines posted on his personal blog:  “It is has been another different week, without being able to play, but there are reasons to be optimistic.

“On Friday I was able to put in some work out on a pitch again and my recovery is progressing as hoped. Hopefully I can rejoin the team soon.

“Thank you for your messages. I’m going to keep doing everything I can to be back fit as soon as possible.”

With Mata unavailable, United suffered a first Premier League defeat under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday as they went down 2-0 at Arsenal.

That defeat has halted the Red Devils’ charge somewhat in an ongoing bid for a top-four finish, but they have been flying of late and can still call upon the memories of a number of domestic victories and a stunning Champions League triumph away at Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester United celebrate 2018-19

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Mata added on recent performances: “I watched the game at the Emirates at home. A defeat that wasn’t desired but has to be played down. I believe that we deserved more against Arsenal.

“In the second half, in particular, we started to look for the equaliser, but once they scored their penalty the task ahead was a lot tougher. It has to be remembered that we were playing against a great team at their own ground, but I really think that we deserved better than a 2-0 loss.

“It resulted in our first defeat with Ole in domestic competition [Premier League and FA Cup], where we had amassed 15 matches unbeaten. Despite this disappointment, we continue moving forward with the motivation to get back to winning ways, and we do so with confidence.

“To finish talking about last week, obviously we have to discuss Paris. It is something difficult to explain with just words. A historic night. To come back from 2-0 down is tough, but to do so against an opponent like PSG is even more difficult.

“This magical night represented the greatness of Manchester United and it will be, without doubt, remembered forever in the history of our club. We’re already looking forward to playing in the quarter-finals.”

The last eight of a different competition is next on the agenda for United, with an FA Cup quarter-final clash with Wolves set to be taken in at Molineux on Saturday.

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